Haran or Aran (Hebrew: הָרָן, Modern: Hārān ) is a figure in the Book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible. Haran was born in Ur of the Chaldees (Ur Kaśdim), the son of Terah and thus a descendant of Shem. Haran's brothers were Abram/Abraham and Nahor. Haran fathered two daughters, Milcah and Iscah, and a son, Lot, who fled Sodom and Gomorrah's destruction and fathered the Moabites and Ammonites.
Haran died in Ur of the Chaldees before his father Terah. After Haran's death, Terah took his son Abram, Abram's wife Sarai, and his grandson Lot with the intention of going to Canaan. But when they stopped at Charan (or Haran) in the region of Paddan Aram or Aram Naharaim, Terah did not continue, but settled there. After a stay of unstated length, when Abram was "seventy-five years old", Abram took Sarai, Lot and other "souls", and continued on to the promised land.
All the children of Jacob (called Israel) are descended from Haran, through his daughter Milcah. (See family tree below.) As a son of David, Jesus Christ is a descendent of Haran's son Lot through David's great-grandmother Ruth, who is descended from Lot's son Moab. Solomon's wife Naamah is descended from Lot's other son Ben-ammi, the father of the Ammonites.
The name Haran possibly comes from the Hebrew word har (mountain) with a West Semitic suffix appearing with proper names, anu/i/a. Thus, it has been suggested that Haran may refer to "mountaineer".Similar names associated with Haran are ha-ri and ha-ru that appear around the second millennium BC. The name ha-ar-ri appears in the Mari and Alalakh texts, but none of their meanings have been deciphered. The initial element of Haran can be found in the Phoenician personal name, hr-b’l and also in the Israelite personal name hryhw (Gibeon).
Others called Haran
Haran is the name of two other people mentioned in the Bible.
- Haran, son of Caleb. His name's Hebrew spelling, however, is like that of Haran the place.
- Haran, son of Shimei. He was a Levite who lived in the time of David and Solomon.